Ever seen the 2002 movie Minority Report?
Characters in this sci-fi flick are barraged with virtual display ads as they walk through public places. Six years ago this concept was crazy, like hovering skateboards; seems we’re now a few years away from it actually happening.
Companies will begin targeting you with personalized ads on digital screens, reports The Wall Street Journal. Marketers are tailoring these ads based on your previous purchases and soon based on your appearance. WSJ said Dunkin Donuts is among the first to try the concept.
Forget the creepy, sci-fi aspect of these ads and instead consider the potential embarrassment. One morning you have a bear claw craving. You dash away from the office, buy four and greedily gobble them in a bathroom stall.
Months later you’re at Dunkin’ Donuts with an attractive co-worker and standing before a digital screen an ad appears for six packs of bear claws.
“Ha, ha, that’s weird,” you mumble. “Why would I want six bear claws?” Then, as your stomach rumbles, you order a glass of water.
Now imagine this scenario. You just gobbled six bear claws and your self-esteem is fluttering. Out for a stroll you pass a digital display that creates personalized ads based on your appearance. What pops up? Dog food.
“So your marketers think I look like a dog?” You complain.
“No, no,” a company spokesman says. “You look like a dog owner.”
“Why do I look like a dog owner?” You reply. “Because you think I’m needy?”